The Ingenue: Women in Space
On 8 November 1984 Dr Anna Fisher became the first American mother in space, when she was a mission specialist aboard NASA Space Shuttle Discovery. Chosen in the first group of women astronauts in American history, Fisher was immortalised in John Bryson’s iconic portrait, which captures her peering out from her helmet with an expression that’s at once anticipatory but also fiercely determined. Fisher spent eight days in space and inspired a generation. Her ongoing work for the Capsule Communicator and Exploration branches of NASA continues to shape the future of space exploration.
Jessica Meir remembers her first grade teacher asking her class to draw a picture of what they wanted to be when they grew up. She drew herself as an astronaut. In 2013, Meir was chosen from more than 6,000 applicants to become one of eight members of NASA Astronaut Group 21 – the first NASA astronaut group in history made up of an equal number of men and women.
We spoke to both women about their careers as women in science, their dreams for the future, and their favourite space movies.